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The foundational approach to music at RPDS supports a wide range of musical interests and skills.

PreK 3, PreK 4 & Kindergarten Music

PreK through Kindergarten music instruction introduces students to basic beat and rhythm. They use simple non-pitched percussion instruments to demonstrate the beat or rhythm. They learn how to use their different voices in certain settings. Such as whispering voices in the library, speaking voices in the classroom, singing voices in the music classroom and shouting voices on the playground. Students work on simple songs to increase their ability to sing on pitch and keep a steady beat. Students create movements to accompany songs with different tempos of steady beat.

1st - 6th Grade Music

As students transition into 1st through 6th Grade, music instruction combines the philosophies of Carl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly, and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze in order to engage students in a research-based holistic approach to experiencing and creating music. Each child explores the basics of performing, composing, and understanding music by means of singing, body percussion, imitation, improvisations, guided listening, instrument playing, music theory instruction, creative movement, dance, storytelling, and drama. We are especially pleased to offer our students the finest selection of musical instruments for their exploration and enjoyment in our Orff Instrumentarium. 
In first, second and third grade, students start learning the foundations of beat and rhythm. Many lessons are on having students move to the steady beat, play an instrument to the steady beat and sing to a steady beat. This transitions to rhythm. They learn the basic note values and then learn how to read them and then play it on the instrument. Their singing increases in difficulty as well learning to sing in a two part cannon. This helps them to be independent in their own part and to be able to be successful in singing in a choir.  
Fourth Grade starts the process of learning the five steps to reading music. They are given their own recorder. This gives them the opportunity to have a pitched wind instrument to play simple songs with. They work on how to read the rhythms, name the note names on the staff, finger the notes on the instrument and then play it on the recorder. The recorder can be  taken home for additional rehearsal time. Their singing ability increases by singing songs with two part harmony. They are taught either a higher part or a lower part in a song and then are able to sing both parts together in perfect harmony.  

Two times per week, our 5th & 6th Grade students are given in-depth instruction on playing the recorder, various barred and non-pitched percussion instruments, ukuleles, composing their own pieces, improvising with style, and singing skillfully. They showcase their talents in several performances throughout the year. Riverside Presbyterian Day School graduates have the music theory skills they need to accurately sight-read musical notation and they have the experience they need to perform comfortably with any musical ensemble of their choice.

Music News

Lessons & Carols by RPDS 3rd and 4th Grade

Lessons and Carols is one of our favorite Christmas time traditions at RPDS! Our 3rd and 4th Grade classes did a wonderful job sharing the meaning of the season through scripture, song, and dance this morning.

RPDS 4th-6th Grade Students Musical Production, "Jukebox Time Machine"

Students got to time travel today as they enjoyed the 4th-6th Grade musical! In honor of Riverside’s 75th anniversary, the 4th - 6th grade musical takes a journey through different decades exploring fashion trends, music, and more! Parents are invited to see the show and take a trip down memory lane tomorrow morning in Kissling Hall (following Chapel)!

RPDS Student Worship Band Performs in Chapel

It was an extra special Chapel this morning as members of the RPDS worship band (an Afternoon Academy offering) started the service with a beautiful performance! We are so thankful these students shared their gifts and hard work with us this morning.

4th Grade Performs Lessons & Carols

This morning our 4th Grade class presented the annual tradition of ‘Lessons & Carols’ in chapel. Thank you 4th Grade for the beautiful performance! 

3rd Grade Christmas Musical

RPDS's 3rd Grade class presented a Christmas musical entitled Christmas Showstoppers December 7th and 8th. The musical featured eight upbeat songs with square dancing, a fiddler, caller, elves, and Santa Claus.

PreK 4 Christmas Performance: "Oh, What A Special Night"

Our PreK 4 classes shared the Christmas story in a very special service this morning entitled "Oh, What a Special Night!". The service was streamed live so families could enjoy these sweet stars in their special performances. We simply love this time of year at RPDS!

All State Elementary Chorus!

In the fall, Sophia Butler, Emmy Jackson, and Stella Krueger ventured to the All State Elementary Chorus at the Tampa Convention Center. The three girls auditioned to be selected to perform at the Florida Music Educators Conference. There were 1,000 students who auditioned and 300 were selected. The young musicians will rehearse and perform in a concert for all the music teachers in Tampa. Congratulations, girls!

Lisa Butler

1st - 6th Grade Music Teacher

Shannon Jennings

PreK 3 - Kindergaten Music Teacher